Contributions Workshop 3.4.C:
Enhancing transformation of strategies for Mountain regions towards sustainable pathways


ID: 138
Workshop & Poster
Participatory integrated resource management as a strategy to cope with climate change impacts in Alpine regions: Empirical evidence about the success in a Swiss case study
Keywords: integrated resource managment, participation, social learning, effects

Buchecker, Matthias; Gaus, Raphael; Fankhauser, Marius
Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Switzerland 

Workshop and Poster Abstract: 

The impacts of climate change on mountain regions is particularly strong. Conventional strategies to manage natural mountain resources will have to be adapted to find affordable and acceptable solutions. Literature recommends participatory integrated resource management approaches as a particularly promising strategy. There is, however, little empirical evidence about the success of this strategy. A recent study evaluated the effect of a participatory process for an integrated river catchment management tested in the Hasli valley in the Swiss Alps. To measure this effect, qualitative interviews and standardized surveys were conducted with involved actors as well as further representatives of involved actor groups before and after the participatory process. Furthermore, a standardized survey was sent half a year after the participatory process to a random sample of the regional population (N=2000). The analysis revealed that the participatory river catchment management had a significant reconciling effect on actors’ problem perspectives indicating social learning and enabled the realization of a number of identified shared solutions. The diffusion of these learning effects to the wider public was, however, found to be rather limited, probably due to the poor public communication about the process. Conclusions for a broader implementation of participatory integrated resource management to cope with climate change impacts in Alpine regions will be discussed.



ID: 189 
Workshop & Poster
‚Leaving no one behind‘: Policies to respond to mountain needs
Keywords: trans-national cooperation, multi-level governance, transformation, needs assessment

Dax, Thomas1; Streifeneder, Thomas2
1Bundesanstalt für Agrarwirtschaft und Bergbauernfragen, Austria; 2Institut für Regionalentwicklung, Eurac Research

Workshop and Poster Abstract: 

Following the international attention and rising awareness for effects of mountain areas on global change over the last decades, increased concern for effectiveness and application of “mountain laws” and linked policy instruments can be observed throughout many mountain ranges. Beyond the well-known cooperation schemes of the Alpine Convention and the Carpathian Convention an increasing engagement in establishing or renewing appropriate regulation systems and commitment for implementing effective policy schemes has emerged over recent years. The presentation will aim at summarizing these aspects to highlight the relevance of policy changes that take account of socio-economic needs, implications by global integration of mountain societies and accelerating human-nature challenges due to climate change effects. Some examples from non-European contexts will be addressed to underline the wide-ranging significance.

At the same time, there is no “best practice” available since transformation requirements are equally critical in mountain contexts with a particular high discourse level and extended scientific basis (e.g. the Alps, Carpathian mountain range or Himalaya). The challenges for these areas are particularly strong in addressing the mind-sets, awareness and perceptions on future development options and mountain needs in response to meeting Sustainable Development Goals. The complex and painful transition process will be exemplified by highlighting results of the foresight study for the Alps (ESPON study Alps2050), carried out in the wake of the EUSALP Macro Regional Strategy development in 2018. Findings underscore the search for trans-regional consensus, shifts in regional and national activities, but also limited inclusiveness as well as deficiencies in turning towards SDG orientations.

It might be important to address implementation gaps and local potential to overcome inertia of policy commitment.


ID: 246
Workshop & Poster
Mountain ecosystems-analogues: possibilities and limitations of knowledge transfer and experience in the field of mountain governance
Keywords: the Alps, the Caucasus, Knowledge Transfer, governance

Gunya, Alexey
Russian Academy of Sciences 

Workshop Abstract: 

Mountain ecosystems are in many respects similar in natural terms; they could have similar sizes of mountain ranges, a set of landscapes zones, climatological vertical gradients, and even to a certain extent - the history of resource development and the impact of modern climate change. Hence, there are many obstacles of a transfer of knowledge from one mountain region in another. In what measure we can transfer results of research, say, between the Appalachians mountains and the Urals, the Andes and the Himalayas, the Alps and the Caucasus? Even similar types of mountain ecosystems can significantly differ according to their dynamics because of different modes of governance (centralized or not centralized, with clear institutions or with combination of formal and non-formal institutions etc.). Nevertheless, due to global climate change, universal recommendations and approaches are being developed that may be suitable for uninhabited nival-glacial ecosystems, but need significant transformation regarding lower-lying more developed areas. The presentation will raise the question of what opportunities and what restrictions exist regarding the transfer of the results of research from one social and ecological system to another in the field of mountain governance. For this purpose, the results of the survey conducted by the MRI in various regions of the world, especially the Caucasus and the Alps, will be used. Many of the basic concepts and terms proposed by the researchers of the Alps have become universal and spread all over the world. The use of alpine terminology and approaches to the study of natural processes is deeply rooted in the Caucasus. However, very little has been done in the context of converging positions on the study of examples of mountain governance. In the context of modern challenges, there is an acute problem of developing and applying of comprehensive integrated policy approaches.

Poster Abstract:

Alps - Caucasus: opportunities and obstacles to the transfer of knowledge and good experience in the field of development and response to global changes

In this poster, I will focus on the analysis of opportunities and restrictions of a transfer of knowledge between two ecologically similar regional systems – the Caucasus and the Alps, which strongly differ in the socio-political context. Similarities in natural conditions made it possible for close contacts and sharing experiences between researchers from both regions. During the Soviet era, a comparative analysis of these two regions attracted a lot of attention, especially in the fields of hazards and tourism. In the mid-seventies several scientific symposia were held to compare the Alps and the Caucasus, and several papers were published presenting the common features and differences of the two regions. Among them was the book Alps-Caucasus: Topical Problems of the Constructive Geography of Mountain States. Comparative analysis made it possible to see the similarities and differences of typical processes and components of nature, but human activity much less so. It mentions one of the actual scientific problems in the field of ecology and the environment – a transfer of knowledge between various social and ecological systems. Different socio-political conditions determine the features of economic impact and the anthropogenic contribution to the functioning of ecosystems. Even similar types of ecosystems can significantly differ according to their dynamics. Therefore, the statement of the following questions is important: 1) what opportunities and what restrictions exist regarding the transfer of the results of research from one social and ecological system to another; 2) the prospects for the use of a model of regional analogs for studying of global changes.

ID: 287
Workshop & Poster
Adaptation options to global change in the mountains depend on the mental models of the inhabitants: an example in the Pyrenees Mountain
Keywords: social-ecological systems, Social-Ecological System framework, vulnerability, climate change, adaptation, scenarios

Claramunt-López, Bernat1,2; López-i-Gelats, Feliu3; Rivera-Ferre, Marta G3
1CREAF, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Catalonia; 2Ecology Unit (BABVE), , Autonomous University of Barcelona, Catalonia; 3Agroecology and Food Systems, University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia, Catalonia

Workshop and Poster Abstract:

Mountains provide the livelihoods to many people in the world, but also of ecosystem services that are vital to all people. In fact, the quality of life of almost the entire population largely depends on the goods and services that mountains provide. However, mountains are currently experiencing huge transformations, both social and environmental. The number of people in the mountains has decreased significantly and has concentrated in the valleys, glaciers are melting, the population is getting older, the winter shortens, etc., and climate change is an important driver in many of the transformations that challenge mountains. Adapting to these changes and developing policies for effective transformation is thus vital. However, adaptation measures are not neutral and there will always be winners and losers. Taking the Pyrenees as a model, and analysing the mountains as a complex socioecological system, this work provides an overall view where we not only take into account the effects of climate change on the natural systems, but also the people, considered both as actors and drivers of change. Based on the discourses of rurality which co-exist within the Pyrenees among the local population, we provide possible future adaptation scenarios of the Catalan mountains from the different perspectives, wishes and interests of the Pyrenean inhabitants, showing that different adaptation measures accommodate different mental models. At the end of paper, we evidence that there are no magic solutions, and that land management in tackling climate change requires setting priorities and trade-offs.

ID: 554
Workshop & Poster
Building sustainable communities in mountain areas through mixes and coordinated strategies at local level: the case of Italy

Mantino, Francesco1; De Fano, Giovanna2
1CREA-Policy and Bioeconomy, Rome; 2CNR-IRET, Montelibretti, Rome 

Workshop Abstract: 

1. Introduction to the topic and objectives of the paper
Main objectives of this paper are to examine two relevant programmes targeting sustainability in Italian rural area and exploring synergies between them: the Strategy for Inner Areas and the Leader programme in 2014-2020 period. They intervene in the same mountain territories, but working in a parallel way and trying to set up coordination mechanisms whose functioning is crucial to effectively pursue sustainability goals.

2. Description of data and research methodology
The methodology is based on the definition of a set of different indicators, split up in two different categories: a) cooperative governance indicators, defining on going collaborative mechanisms between two types of delegated bodies responsible at local level: Local Action Groups and Associations of Communes; b) economic, social and environmental indicators. Data needed for these indicators are drawn by local projects.

3. Discussion of theoretical and/or empirical results
Different dimensions of sustainability can be brought by these programmes, if they work in a coordinated way: a) the strengthening and consolidation of local food chains, in particular two different directions: a.1) valorizing the quality and the position of healthy food production on the local and regional markets; a.2) creating alternative food chains, based on more direct relations with final consumers; b) developing new forms of green tourism and energy production by biomasses, based on “soft” types of local initiatives, but with high potential for young generations at local level; c) developing innovative forms of social inclusion. The higher the cooperative governance between these programmes, the higher the share of sustainable interventions in these fields. Cooperative governance depends from the participation of LAGs in the Inner Areas Strategy design, the financial contribution of Leader in Inner areas strategy and the networks set up by municipalities at local level.


ID: 604
Workshop & Poster
Human Geography of Post-Socialist Mountain Regions

Schmidt, Matthias
University of Augsburg, Germany

Workshop Abstract: 

The political situation during the so-called Cold War divided alpine and mountain research into at least two sections. From a Western perspective, knowledge about the mountains located behind the iron curtain was very limited as a consequence of accessibility difficulties and the fact that studies conducted by colleagues from socialist countries were rarely available, written in a non-Western language or just ignored. With the 1989/91 transformation, the numerous Eurasian mountain ranges, such as the Slovenian Alps, Carpathians, Ural, Caucasus, Altai, Tian Shan, Pamir or Kamchatka, came into focus and raised the awareness of the international scientific community. This resulted in several studies from various disciplinary backgrounds on physical and socio-economic aspects of the mountain areas in former socialist countries.

Although some of these studies deal with the socialist past and the post-socialist present, rarely are there studies that explicitly point out the particularities of post-socialism in relation to mountain areas. Thus, the question arises, in which way do post-socialist mountain regions differ from mountains in other world regions (i.e. in terms of land management, livelihoods, conservation, political governance)? Are there any particularities that could be labelled as post-socialist, post-communist or post-Soviet? In which way do the legacies (physical and institutional) of socialist systems influence environments and societies in these mountain areas today?

There is no doubt that the political, economic, and social systems of party-ruled state socialism significantly influenced the way mountains are perceived and valuated, managed and utilized. Forces such as the specific forms of administration, economic exploitation, ideals of preservation and recreation, social restructuring and state control, collectivization, forced sedentarisation or security requirements, frame the conditions and activities that have shaped the specific montane regions. The aim of the paper is to identify specific features that can be characterized as post-socialist in mountains of former socialist states.


ID: 153
Specific Research Poster
Mountain Resilience Coalition (MRC)

Hausdoerffer, John
Mountain Resilience Coalition, United States of America  

Poster Abstract: 

The Mountain Resilience Coalition merges Aspen International Mountain Foundation (AIMF), Telluride Institute, and Western Colorado University to co-Chair the North America, Central America, and Caribbean region of UN Mountain Partnership. This poster focuses on MRC's vision, successes, and challenges in building evidence-driven climate mitigation, adaptation, and collaboration strategies across this region. MRC's poster will share:

  • Extensive research to enhance understanding of the criteria of what constitutes a "mountain community"
  • A new map of North America, Central America, and Caribbean UN region, showing every community that fits the most cutting-edge definition of a "mountain community"
  • Research into ten "best practices" mountain communities from the region, spanning rural/urban, developed/developing, alpine/tropical geographical and cultural diversity
  • Results from research into how best to measure health for each community, combining quantitative, qualitative, and "cultural expression" metrics. Results will include five complete samples from communities that have participated in this process
  • Vision for how to achieve twenty-five community-based climate action plans by 2025 across this UN Mountain Partnership region and how to achieve a "net-carbon neutral and climate-adaptive" region by 2050

The MRC hopes to learn from and model for the other UN Mountain Partnership regions the great promise of coalitions that merge organizations, public and private partnerships, academics and communities, and developed and developing worlds to address urgent climate disturbances threatening the world's mountain communities.


ID: 270
Specific Research Poster
Sustainable Highland Development Project: Huay Nam Sai Model
Keywords: Highland Areas, Sustainable Development, Royal Project Model, Strengthening Community-Based

Yodyadthai, Arnon; Prapthuk, Wirat; Phongprapai, Sawanit
Highland Research and Development Institute (Public Organization)), Thailand

Poster Abstract: 

Thai highlands are situated from 500 meters above sea level mostly in the north with approximately 20.56 percent of the country's total land area where four major river basins including Salawin are generated. Over one million people are living in 4,205 villages, about triple increasing over the past 50 years, and with their traditionally slash-and-burn farming, creating massive impacts on deforestation and highland environment. Highland Research and Development Institute or HRDI was then founded to sustainably develop highland areas and improve quality of life of highland people throughout the country.

Huay Nam Sai Model has been a successful achievement dedicated by HRDI since 2015 in Salawin river basin, Mae Hong Son Province. The model aims at reducing poverty, strengthening rural development and protecting natural environment by using the Royal Project sustainable and balanced development model. The model facilitates the incorporation of new research results and technology to development processes in order to strengthening community-based organizations, improving livelihood and self-reliance. Village profile and land use plan map are important tools used to achieve the targets.

Huay Nam Sai model allows people and nature to coexist in harmony, by aligning the people’s interests with the natural environment preservation. There is no more conflicts over forest

resources. The villagers volunteer to return about 400 acres of their farmland to forests, increasing biodiversity and plant species richness and diversity. At present, 70 percent of the villagers ensure food security without expanding their agricultural lands. They practice diverse range of environmentally friendly farm activities including fruit, coffee, rice, vegetables and livestock with available marketing channels, generating sufficient income to contribute to their family and to cope with poverty.

Huay Nam Sai village today becomes a learning center for sustainable highland development leading to people’s happiness, green economy and inclusive participation.

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